Calling all pilots!
Star Wars: Squadrons took the galaxy by storm in October when Motive and EA partnered with Lucasfilm to bring their latest flight simulator to life. The small-scale video game allowed pilots to choose a side between the Galactic Empire and the New Republic, participating in a short campaign and taking their skills to the battlefield in various vehicles and multiplayer options.
The game has also inspired a CG short by ILM, following the story of Varko Grey, the leader of the Imperial fleet's Titan Squadron. At the time of release, Squadrons was said to be complete, with any continuations coming in the form of the aforementioned short. However, the popularity of the game grabbed the attention of its developers, and the once-finished game is now set to expand...
The official Star Wars website has announced that the B-Wing and TIE Defender ships will be arriving in Star Wars: Squadrons in an Holiday Update coming mid-December. Additionally, a new multiplayer map named Fostar Haven and four ship components will join the game November 25.
The producer of the game, Thomas Mir, explained that Squadrons' reception is to thank for the new update:
The idea was for the community to be able to enjoy [the game] for years to come. When we saw the reaction, we saw opportunities to really strengthen that vision.
The B-Wing fighter, with an upright cockpit, will make for a unique experience in both Virtual Reality and normal gameplay:
It will work the same whether you’re in VR or in a traditional display. It’s a fun and unique mechanic.
Mir teased that those hoping for Custom Matches will be pleased with what's to come:
We’ve seen some people doing tournaments online for Squadrons already. I don’t have the details on how they managed to match ten people together, but they are going to be happy about some of the things we’re releasing.
These matches will be available in both public and private options, with crossplay among consoles and PCs a guaranteed feature. The 10 players involved will also have the ability to set the conditions for their matches through restrictions and modifiers. The custom matches will be available as part of the December update.
WHAT THIS MEANS
This update was certainly unexpected, but exciting nonetheless. The B-Wing and TIE Defender fighters had been high on pilots' wishlists when the game was announced, and the omission of the vehicles left a void in the players' fleets. Now, the starfighter forces will be complete.
The B-Wing, introduced in Return of the Jedi, is one of the funkier ships in Star Wars, but is a force to be reckoned with. The swivel movements of the wings will allow pilots to gun down their enemies from varying angles without having to turn the cockpit, and the laser has the power to be as destructive as any starfighter.
Designed by Grand Admiral Thrawn, the TIE Defender is a near-perfect ship. Equipped with three wings and six blaster cannons, the shielded craft ensures victory for the Empire in every battle it's present. Had Kanan Jarrus not successfully seen to the destruction of Thrawn's fuel line of Lothal, the TIE Defender project would have spelled doom for the Rebellion.
Few details were given on the nature of Fostar Haven, but Squadrons has offered an impressive array of locations, and this new map will surely fit right in. The ship components coming to the game were also left without elaboration, but the gaming experience is bound to be enhanced with new flight mechanics that will nicely contrast with the cockpit bobblehead of the Child.
Custom matches have been on pilots' minds since the game launched and, as the producer said, they've been successful in creating their own. The matches that Squadrons will officially make available should provide more options for gamers who want to duke it out with their pals, and they'll be granted several different ways of doing it.
For a $40 game, Star Wars: Squadrons seemed to have emptied the tank when it released. But, as always, the fans' persistence and enthusiasm inspired the developers to add more, and pilots are now getting a pleasantly surprising holiday gift from the team. Within the span of the next month, the full two-part update will be out in the world, and pilots will be able to take flight in the greatest vehicles the galaxy has to offer.